I love analytics. There I said it. I’m not a statistician. Nor am I a maths geek (although I wish I were because those guys can do really cool stuff). Still, I love analytics. The reason I love them is the reason you should love them too. Whenever you spend money marketing your business the one thing you absolutely must know is… Was the investment worthwhile?the one thing you absolutely must know is... Was the investment worthwhile? Click To Tweet
First I’m going to give a brief rundown of what you can get from your analytics dashboard. The we are going to take a look at how we might interpret the data and make use of it. I’m going to use YouTube for this as I think the analytics dashboard they have is simply brilliant. For video producers the data is so useful and informative that you can’t help but get better at using video to get new customers.
What Does The YouTube Analytics Dashboard Give Us?
Let’s take a look at the overview first of all.
Down the left hand side of the screen we see all of the different reports that are available to us. There is a lot of information here. For us I would suggest that the best place to start is with the overview itself. It tells us how many people have viewed our video, how long they watched for and a little bit about the viewers. I can see that most of our viewers for this video were female, most of them watched the video on YouTube and most of them found it not by searching but by way of it being a suggested video. Let’s look a little closer at this information and see how we can usefully interpret it.
How Long Did People Watch And Why Is That Important?
We know from the overview that 4,146 people had watched the video at the time of data capture. You can also see that the average watch time was three minutes and six seconds. For a video that is just under ten minutes long that sounds terrible. We need to take a look at that and try to find out what we did wrong.
What we see here is a live playback of the video underneath a graph showing us our audience retention throughout the video. There are two options for showing this. The first shows us retention as a percentage of the starting audience. But is that useful for us? It may be but I think the second option is more interesting.
This shows us our audience retention compared to other YouTube videos. What we see now is that this video starts with below average views but as it goes on it retains more viewers than other videos throughout most of its length. This is a “How To” video and it’s telling that as we near the end of the creation demo and move into the phase where we see the beauty shots of the completed wreath viewing drops off. Why? I would conclude that people are working along to the video building their wreaths and as they near completion they aren’t that interested in how beautiful our completed work is. They are interested how how their work has progressed.
How Do I Use That Knowledge?
I know that the video needs something to retain viewer interest after the one minute mark. We want as many people to watch our skillful work as possible as the point is to establish our expertise and get people to want to buy from us. I can also see that the video could do with being shorter. The last two minutes are only marginally useful and yet making those two minutes incurred production costs. That’s money we can save next time.
The middle section shows us that our work is of great value to a lot of viewers. They are watching when most other videos have lost most of their views. This must be to do with the power of “How To” videos to engage people who want to make or create for themselves. They are watching and working along. So the next video I make for this client needs to be another “How To”, and I need to make it quicker and punchier.
Who Is Watching?
In this demographics report we can see what age groups and which sex are watching. We can see that the vast majority are women and that the great majority of viewers are middle aged and older. The video is a florist “How To” so do the analytics simply confirm our sexist stereotypes?
Yes they do. The data shows that most viewers are women and that they are older women. That does let us know that any future videos will most likely appeal to those groups. Do we then restyle our video accordingly? No. That would be sexist. As a man any attempt by me to pander to a female audience would come across as condescending and be self defeating. What I need to learn from this is that my next video for this client needs to be as frank and honest as this one was. I’ll be making it with no preconceptions.
When did people watch?
This video was a “How To” for a Christmas door wreath. It should come as no surprise then that the majority of views come in late November and early December. What the watch time report does show is that views are climbing year on year. If you go back to the overview you will remember it told us that most of our views come as the video is now a suggested choice on this subject matter. As the video gained views, and repeated views over each festive season the YouTube system noticed this and added the video to it’s suggestions. In its third Christmas live the video got more views than in all of the previous two years combined.
The data below the graph shows us that the huge majority of views are in English speaking countries. The best news is that most are in the UK where the business is located and where the views will get us new customers.
There is so much more data available here and so much more we can do with it. I think, however, it’s time for you to explore the options yourself. The analytics for every video you upload to YouTube are easily available by clicking on the “analytics” button under your video. If you have any queries or questions about what you find or how to make sense of it I’d love to discuss it with you. Please just comment below and I’ll reply as soon as I can.